You put great efforts into your workouts, full focus and determined, always looking to perform better to increase your core strength. Whether you’re working out to lose some belly and thigh fat, increase muscle tone or just feel light and fit, hitting the gym is only part of the battle to get the best results. Although your diet matters a lot to keep you going on throughout the day but your post workout diet does play the biggest role of all.
Probably you’ve given more thought to your pre workout meal and emphasised on it than your post-workout diet. But make sure that you are consuming the right nutrients after you workout as you are consuming before.
Why is post workout diet so important?
Your body stores excess energy in the form of glycogen and protein in its muscles. During a workout, your body first burns fuel from anything you’ve eaten recently (pre-workout meal) and moves on to the glycogen stored in your body. After that, the protein present in your muscles begins to drop and muscle fibres start breaking down.
Your muscles begin to use available protein to rebuild, refuel and replenish within a few hours of completing workout session as your body is extremely good at absorbing carbohydrate and protein within 45 minutes after your workout.
Yes you heard it right! The carbohydrates and protein are two key things your body needs—the time when blood circulates very well after you work out.
- Take 30 grams of protein and 30-35 grams carbs within 15 minutes of your workout, to build muscles.
- Eat within 45 minutes of your workout, if you’re trying to shed a few pounds and stay in shape.
- Decrease muscle protein breakdown
- Improved Recovery
- Enhanced ability to utilize body fat
- Improved bone mass
- Less muscle soreness
- Increased ability to build muscle
- Improved immune function
- Increase muscle protein synthesis (growth).
- Restore glycogen stores
These benefits work for everyone, irrespective of gender or age.
So, here are the 10 best food recipes you need to include in your post workout diet. These recipes contain every single nutrient necessary for a post workout diet, including healthy mix of complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, proteins and vitamins.
Do not skip your post workout diet if you are running short of time as dried fruits and nuts are a simple solution. It saves your cooking besides it easy to carry and can have immediate access to them after you workout. It will provide you a healthy dose of protein from nuts, in addition you’ll get simple carbohydrates from your dried fruits. This is the simple yet top post workout snack you must take as it contains simple carbs which are easy to digest and replenishes your muscle glycogen more quickly than complex carbs does.
The milk has high-quality protein as well as calcium, and the chocolate provides the fast carb fuel. This makes Chocolate milk a classic post-workout drink as it has the good ratio of carbs, protein and fat. It is delicious and can be taken along with basically any other recovery meal.
3. Stir-Fry Chicken
Chicken – an excellent source of lean protein including important nutrients like niacin, a B vitamin essential to carbohydrate metabolism. Although brown rice is preferred to white rice for a healthier option but after a workout your body actually wants to have food with high glycemic index (GI). These foods will help quickly replenish your muscles with glucose.
4. Fruit Smoothies
When it comes to being flavorful, colourful, nutrient rich and quick to prepare, the most healthy, raw and organic, it could be none other than fruit smoothie making it near to the top of post-workout diet list. It is versatile and digestible, quickly absorbing and most of all, convenient to make.
Blend together any fruit such as cherries(contains anti-inflammatory chemicals that help protect against muscle damage and reduce muscle soreness), watermelon juice(rare amino acid-post-sweat combats muscle soreness), mangoes and melons(high-GI fruits), bananas and strawberries(have plentiful potassium), with almond or coconut milk, soy or another kind of low-fat milk, or a Greek yogurt.
You can also blend oats (known for good carbs), granola sprinkled on top, the best post-workout food options brimming with protein and fibre. Satisfy your muscles with these fruit smoothies and get the most out of them.
A crispy crunchy coating and moist-tender chicken topped with hummus has a lot to give to you than just making you drool over it. Hummus is prepared from chick-peas and is an excellent source of both protein and carbs.
Combine and complete this recipe with a whole-grain bread or a crunchy cracker to extra punch to your post-workout diet.
When it comes to protein content nothing can beat eggs. Your body uses the protein present in eggs most efficiently for growth. As protein has the highest biological value of all whole foods and is considered to be the most quickly utilisable.
Spinach on the other hand is loaded with iron (one of the most alkaline foods) and phytoecdysteroids (a form of plant steroids responsible for speed muscle growth).
So,when you are in a hurry, mix up some egg whites, milk and spinach all together and make yourself an omelette.
This hearty post-workout meal not only satisfies your taste buds but also is the best food you can eat after burning the calories. Salmon is packed with minerals, vitamins and healthy fatty acids-omega-3s. The carbs and protein from pecans and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids help replenish your body quickly after a heavy workout.
Pair your salmon with mashed potatoes that will give an extra flavor and healthier touch to your recipe.
Potatoes, will balance your fish with a lovely serving of glucose-giving carbs as they have high GI value.
8. Cereal and Skim Milk
Whole grain cereals are loaded with carbs, protein,and other important vitamins and minerals.
Moving on to skim milk, it is an easily digestible and complete source of every required nutrient for muscle replenishment and faster recovery.
So, do not ever underestimate your whole-grain cereal with milk meal as it could be even as great as your sports energy drink for quick recovery after exercise.
9. Matcha Green Tea Pancakes
Matcha provides a major dose of antioxidants and you can also a get a doze of extra protein from brown rice flour. Make yourself lovely fun color Matcha Green Tea Pancakes filled with rich antioxidants and protein after a morning workout.
Add all natural topping like organic chocolate syrup or zesty orange and cinnamon syrup to make it healthier and more delicious.
10. One-Pan Mexican Quinoa
Give a twist to your basic quinoa recipe and try this Mexican-inspired dish. It comes all together quickly in one pan and can be prepared within a few minutes.
This Mexican quinoa one pan mix recipe is also full of easily accessible and healthy ingredients-corn, black beans, tomatoes and avocados. So try this recipe out and rejuvenate, refuel your body after you workout.